And the saga continues…
Lisa and I decided to explore Bur (Old) Dubai. Since we were pros at taking the metro, obviously we did that, got turned around after getting off, but only for a minute, and started walking. We ended up stumbling into the Heritage House which used to be someone’s house that they actually lived in. There was also a resident artist type guy who worked with metal making jewelry, frameable art, and other stuff. He was really nice, and didn’t speak much English, but proceeded to write both my and Lisa’s names in Arabic calligraphy! Mine is currently framed in my living room.
When we left, after being given fairly specific instructions as to where we should go next, we just started wandering towards the water, where the souks (markets) started to pop up. Unfortunately they weren’t quite what I had built up in my head. I knew that Dubai was a relatively young city, but I still thought there might be some older things. I envisioned the souks to be these wooden tables with unorganized piles of stuff for me to sort through and find, kind of like a famer’s market. Not the case. Every vendor basically had its own store, air conditioned and all. The fabric souk looked like China Town in NYC where they have pashminas coming out of their ears; I’m pretty sure it was the same stock, too. I got a couple anyway since Seattle doesn’t really have a China Town like NYC does.
We left, and got to the water’s edge where we then had to take an abra across the Dubai creek. Lisa and I decided to make the most of it, and got ourselves a private abra ride down the creek and back. On the way down the creek there was no breeze, but on the way back it was the extreme opposite. The ride ended up costing a wee bit more than we had expected, but since neither of us wanted to go to jail…we paid. We soon found the spice souks where Lisa really wanted to buy some saffron for her sister. But again, it was a bunch of stores with the same stuff all lined up next to each other. The saffron wasn’t any cheaper than it would have been in the US, so we moved on to the gold souk. Here comes another NYC reference: You know that block or two in the city that are only stores that sell gold or diamonds or whatever? That’s what this gold souk looked like, except slightly less like NYC. Even the fake purse and sunglass hawkers were included. Needless to say we didn’t end up buying anything, and went back to Rae Ann’s.
We all decided it would be pretty awesome to go to the top of the tallest building in the world at night, so we did. Grabbed dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which had unlimited Coke refills for Rae Ann, and then started to head over to the entrance to the Burj Khalifa tour. Uuuuuuuh…someone *cough cough Lisa* forgot the tickets back at the apartment so we drove back to get them, drove back to the mall, and managed to get to the very last tour minutes before it closed. Phew! And of course we got some sweet pics.
Literally all we did Friday was have brunch, and dance. In Dubai, Friday is like Saturday, and brunch is a thing. It’s not quite like US brunch. Basically everywhere in the city has a brunch and they range in price. Our brunch was all you can eat and drink, for, like, 4 hours. There was a big group of us, a lot of people Rae Ann work with, so it was really nice. The food was actually pretty awesome also. Dessert was my fullest plate, obviously. After brunch was done we walked to the downstairs of the hotel and there was a pub-like place where there was plenty of dancing and more drinking. We actually stayed there for 5-6 hours even though Lisa and I were totally against it initially. Time flies when you’re watching drunk people get crunk at brunch.
I love the beach. I mean, it’s perfection. Sure there are flaws in some beaches, but if I have a place to sit my butt down, and another to to swim/float in, I’m easy to please. Kite Beach had both of those things, AND an awesome view of the Burj Al Arab where we were going to have tea later.
The first thing Lisa booked for us was this tea at the Burj Al Arab, the 7-star hotel. We bought our plane tickets, and the next day we were heading to tea. Saturday seemed like the perfect day to do it too since we left the next day. It served as our last hurrah. And boy was it worth the wait. The whole evening was pretty surreal. First you have to get past the guarded gate; you can’t even go into the hotel unless you’re staying there, or you have a reservation at any of their restaurants, AND you can only get there 30 minutes before your reservation. Our name was on the list, so we drove up, had the car complimentary valeted, and we walked in. You’re overwhelmed with opulence in every nook and cranny of the hotel. The escalator, which is flanked by a massive fish tank that’s actually larger than my apartment, takes you up as high as you can go unless you’re staying at the hotel, or you have reservations at a restaurant on a higher floor. We did not, and even though we hopped in the elevator to go up, since we didn’t have a key to a room, it just sat there, and we had to get out. Tea was simply amazing. Champagne, berry tart, finger sandwiches, vegetable wantons, sorbet palette cleanser, scones with clotted cream and jam, dessert, and tea. I mean, it was totally worth it. After our almost 3 hour service, we took a couple of pictures and waved goodbye at all the rich people actually staying there. It rained on the way home for all of 30 seconds.
Lisa and I packed all our stuff up, and Rae Ann took us to the airport the next morning. The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime type of trip, and I’m so glad I got to experience it with one of my favorite people.